Catholic board updated on mental health supports in division

Daily Herald File Photo The Prince Albert Catholic School Division board of education met in September, 2022 in this Herald file photo.

Mental Health support and how school divisions can improve it was the focus of a presentation at the regular meeting of the Prince Albert Catholic School Division on Monday evening.

Superintendent Charity Dmytruk updated trustees with an overview on Mental Health, Well Being and Student Support Services at the meeting.

Education director Lorel Trumier said they board has several new members, so it was important to update them on a vital subject, especially since it’s a big part of the still incomplete Provincial Education Plan.

“We certainly wanted to make sure we were updating the board with the information on Mental Health and Well Being as well as additionally the Student Support Services model that we use and how we support students,” Trumier said.

“I think it’s particularly important at these times because we are trying to build a strategic plan for Mental Health and Well Being in our province for the provincial education plan so we want our board to be aware of what is currently in place,”

The Prince Albert Catholic School Division uses the Response to Interventions (RTI) Model when dealing with mental health challenges. Trumier said the program allows them flexibility.

“I think it also demonstrates that we have been very creative about how we can do those supports without additional funding,” she added.

The RTI Model aims to identify struggling students early on and give them supports to succeed in schools.

The division also has a partnership with the HUB Program. Trumier said partnering with programs from outside organizations has been the most efficient way to meet the challenge.

“We are also finding that from time to time there are different programs that are available to us through other ministries and we certainly want the board to be aware that we are taking full advantage each of those opportunities,” she said.

Trumier added that supporting students’ mental health also comes through at the classroom level through the curriculum.

“I’ll use the example of the physical education curriculum, the curriculum on health and sciences,” she explained. “We have different areas where those kind of opportunities arise. Even our faith dimension helps us with supporting students in strategies for their own mental health and well being, and the power of prayer as an example.”

The presentation was broad and wide ranging covering all aspects of mental health and student supports.

“That was our intent there, to ensure that our board was informed about the different strategies and what the current state is because as I said, we are building a strategic plan that is spending some intentionality on how we are going to continue to support our students in this fashion,” Trumier said.